Berlin is one of those European capitals that is or should be on everyone’s must-visit list and there is a good reason for it. The city is filled with history and has become a melting pot of cultures from all over the world. Everyone is welcome in the German capital and there is plenty to do and see when you are in Berlin for 48 hours.

Day one: exploring Berlin Mitte

The central borough of Berlin, Mitte, comprises parts of both east and west Berlin from when the city was divided by the Berlin Wall. There is lots to see and do in the city centre. If you want to make your way from east to west or the other way around during the day, you can easily do so with City Sightseeing Berlin hop-on hop-off bus, with tours running every 20 to 25 minutes, or with public transportation.

In the southeast corner of Mitte you’ll find lots of attractions and museums to visit. There are activities all over this area, from the TV tower on Alexanderplatz with the incredible BODY WORLDS exposition at its base to Museum Island with its superb museums, such as the Pergamon Museum and the Alte Nationalgalerie. And on Spandauer Straβe there is the Berlin Icebar, Berlin Dungeon and SEA LIFE Berlin.

And that is just one corner of Mitte. Along the Spree, especially the southern south there is lots more to see and do. Here you’ll find the Reichstag Building, where you can go up into the glass dome for a great view of the city, the famous Brandenburg Gate and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

Across the road from the Brandenbrug Gate, you can walk into Tiergarten Park, the green lungs of Berlin. This is Berlin’s largest and oldest park, where you can spend hours walking along winding tree-lined paths. The park is also home to arts and exhibition centre Haus der Kulturen der Welt, the Victory Column, the Tea House with lovely terrace, and beer garden Café am neuen See on the shore of a small lake.

Like any city centre in Europe, Berlin Mitte offers lots of places to eat, from affordable budget options to high end restaurants. There are places for traditional German and European food, such as Clärchens Ballhaus, which is set between designer shops, modern art galleries and cafés in a historic dancehall. And food from all over the world, from Vietnamese at District Môt to the American-style deli MOGG.

Day two: take a stroll through Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg

The artsy borough of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg is split in two by the Spree river, with Friedrichshain on the northside and Kreuzberg to the south. Start your day beside the river in Friedrichshain, where the East Side Gallery stands. This is the longest open-air gallery in the world as well as the longest intact part of the Berlin Wall. After the Wall fell, 118 artists from 21 countries redesigned 1316 meters of the former border wall, creating the Gallery.

From here explore Friedrichshain, as you make your way to the heart of the neighbourhood for lunch: Boxhagener Platz, also known as Boxi. The square between Krossener and Grünberger Straße is home to some of Friedrichshain’s coolest cafes, bars, shops and restaurants and a popular meeting point for locals, a lively melting pot of young families and bohemians. Afterwards either find your way back to the river, or if you want to use the hop-on hop-off bus head to the Computerspielemuseum, where you can find one of the stops of the bus tour.

Cross the river on foot via the Oberbaum Bridge, or let the bus take you all the way to Checkpoint Charlie, which stands on the border of Mitte and Kreuzberg. Like Museum Island, Kreuzberg is home to multiple great museums. The Jewish Museum, for example, is the biggest of its kind in Europe and explores German history and Jewish culture through thousands of objects and their stories.

One street over from the Jewish Museum stands the Berlinische Galerie, which collects and preserves modern contemporary art, photography and architecture made in Berlin, truly showing how the German capital is a city of artists. And less than 10 minutes walking away, you’ll find the König Galerie set in the Brutalist concrete St. Agnes church.

Closer to the Landwehr Canal you can find the German Museum of Technology, which has an airplane on the roof, and the Science Center Spectrum, with its hands-on experiments in light, electricity and sound. These museums are set in a green park with windmills. Other museums of note in Kreuzberg are the Topography of Terror and of course Wall Museum – Checkpoint Charlie.

Head towards the area around Kottbusser Tor, to find lots of restaurants and bars. Burgermeister Kottbusser Tor is possibly the most popular independent burger place in the city, but you’ll find food from all over the world in this area. With its many restaurants and cafés, this area is also great for people watching, much like the other squares of the city.

When you visit Berlin, you can explore the city on your own, with the help of a guided bus tour or take a walking tour. Either way, the city is sure to make you feel welcome whether you are there for 48 hours or only 24 hours.